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 Post subject: Ring Pro Video Doorbell
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Tried to fit one of these for my brother today. It did not go well! Perhaps somebody here can tell me where I was going wrong...

So, he had an old 8VAC doorbell transformer in the CU which I removed and replaced with the 24VAC one that comes with the Ring Pro. I measured the output of the transformer and it was delivering a steady 34V with no load on it. Fine.

The house had wiring for the old doorbell, 6 core twisted pair type cable (basically telephone extension cable as far as I could make out) but buried into the wall so I couldn't see what went where (the old bell box had been removed and the cable plastered over, so the cable had to be dug out of the wall for me to work on it).

I wired the transformer to the blue and green cores, same as the old 8V transformer was wired. However measuring the voltage where the old ringer used to be gave weird, random results ranging from 2V right up to 65V! I thought my multimeter was knackered, so I used a different one -- same results. Also measured the voltage at the outside wiring for the bell push and it was similarly random. I thought maybe the wiring was picking up an inductive load from the mains in the house or something, but the voltages all dropped to 0 with the transformer off.

The old wiring was very brittle, so I wondered if it was broken somewhere, but that wouldn't explain why it was flicking around between 2V and 65V randomly would it, when the transformer was delivering a steady 34V? Am I being dense, or is there something very odd about what was happening?

PS. There was nothing else connected to the circuit (at least to my knowledge, unless something is buried in a wall somewhere) when I was taking those readings. Just the transformer and 6 core cable.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:19 pm 
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Sounds very much like you need a new door bell cable.

Are you 100% sure the cable is the same one at both ends?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:27 pm 
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If there is an short in the wire then the on-off could be causing your meter to surge or pulse a little bit. Both of my meters do this when you first connect to a circuit, they either shoot past the voltage and then settle down to a steady reading or they build up to it taking a second or two to settle on the actual reading. If there is a break in the wire it could be having the same effect for you? It would be very odd though for all the wires to do this however.



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:47 pm 
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Rorschach wrote:
If there is an short in the wire then the on-off could be causing your meter to surge or pulse a little bit. Both of my meters do this when you first connect to a circuit, they either shoot past the voltage and then settle down to a steady reading or they build up to it taking a second or two to settle on the actual reading. If there is a break in the wire it could be having the same effect for you? It would be very odd though for all the wires to do this however.

Cheers. That sounds like it could be it then, possibly. Broken wiring. The readings were hunting around all over the shop and wouldn't settle at a steady voltage. Maybe it's arcing somewhere in a wall or under a floor. I did try connecting a couple of the cores together at the bell push end, and checking the resistance at the ringer end and that was fluctuating too. No consistent continuity. Obviously, I'm not a spark -- think I fell into the trap of assuming I must have been doing something dumb instead of taking the readings at face value. But the high voltage readings were really confusing me.

Seems odd that all 6 cores are bad (although I probably didn't check every single combination), especially as the old doorbell was okay when it was removed. Maybe the cable was damaged when the old ringer was removed and plastered over, or maybe it was damaged when it was dug out for me to work on.

Your post and s-e's have put my mind at ease a *little* bit. I spent hours scratching my head over a simple f*!$£ng doorbell circuit thinking I must be an idiot (which, I suppose, may or may not still be the case...).

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:43 pm 
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I can not take credit for this, but a BT phone bloke once said to me. "Sometimes its quicker to run a new cable than it is to try and fault find on the current one"

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No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:23 pm 
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someone-else wrote:
I can not take credit for this, but a BT phone bloke once said to me. "Sometimes its quicker to run a new cable than it is to try and fault find on the current one"

Yeah, that sounds like a fair point. I think that might prove to be the only viable option. Unfortunately, almost the entire ground floor had extensive building work done a short while back and was newly decorated. Don't think my brother will be too keen on cable clipped to skirting, or chasing it into his newly-plastered walls, but I will offer. Sod's law - the CU is near the rear of the house, two doors away from where the bell push needs to be! I reckon he'll be going for some sort of wireless/battery-powered alternative if it comes to the crunch, but we'll see...

Cheers for the help.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:41 am 
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"wireless door bells" fall into the same category as wireless alarms, they all sound like a good idea, but they are just rubbish. But no one believes you until you try it and then say............

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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